5 Hidden Gems of the 1990s
The Hidden Gem
This is the holy grail of the comic reader, that unexpected bit of excellence that adds to your reading experience. These are often found in the cheap bins, or as part of a job lot of comics that you didn’t buy with these in mind, but are nice little bonuses.
Below are five of these sort of series that flew under the radar for many, but will always have a special place in my heart.
Angel and the Ape (1991)
Written and drawn by Phil Foglio, this was a comedy/action series with a fantastic premise Angel O’Day is a detective and her business partner is aspiring comic artist Sam Simeon, thing is Sam is a talking Gorilla. A hilarious concept that is enjoyable explored in this series that most people forget even exists.
Justice Society of America (1992)
This was the second series by Len Strazewski on the old JSA, this time with art by the late Mike Parobeck. This was the post crisis showcase for the Golden Age team. A little older and a lot wiser than their prime, this series showed the team having adventures, trying to find their place in the world before battling an old enemy and proving why they were the original genuine article. I was not a fan of Hourman, Wildcat, the Atom or many of the others before this series, but damn I was afterwards. An utter joy of a read.
Cable: Blood & Metal (1992)
Written by Fabian Nicieza with pencils by John Romita Jr, this was a two issue mini taking place between 1992’s X-Force 15 and the X-Cutioner’s Song crossover later that year. Showcasing Cable and his search for answers regarding his old enemy Stryfe and facing up to his mistakes in that regard added insight and depth to a cardboard cut-out character in many respects. The John Romita Jr art was blocky, but showed the action well and I have a soft spot for this series, despite the many shortcomings it has.
Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt (1992)
Written and drawn by Michael T Collins, this was the interesting 12 issue story of Thunderbolt, an old Charlton comics hero, who took 5 years off after a severe beating left him suffering severe post traumatic stress disorder, but is pulled back into the costume life when in London. Becoming a London based hero is an interesting take and the plotlines and characters weave and interconnect smoothly and intelligently. The characters are likeable and relateable and I will enjoy any comic that has the word berk used appropriately.
This four part series by Dan Abnett and Jose Fonteriz followed a film maker researching the fictional character Night Raven, only to learn he wasn’t quite so fictional and is dragged into his world of crime, exotic villains and film noir-esque action. The art was clean with a moody edge and it is such a shame that more wasn’t done with such an interesting concept.
I could easily find 5 more of these, maybe I will, but with little to no researching was able to find 5 little gems like these.